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Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Mississippi Mud - Can We Say 'Backwards'?

It's about time that Mississippi abolished slavery, don't you think? It only took them a little over 147 years, over and above the time slavery was in place before the 13th Amendment was ratified. I'd think it shows the priorities of the state in general, that they didn't make damn good and sure it was done a hundred years ago

I have nothing against the people of Mississippi specifically. I don't think I've even met anyone from that state, although it is quite possible that I have and just don't remember. This isn't about the people, beyond the fact that the people remained unaware of, or did nothing about, the lack of ratification of the 13th Amendment to the United States Constitution. That's not unforgivable, as I know how difficult it is to be fully informed of every little thing. Especially since the original rejection of the 13th Amendment actually occurred on December 5th, 1865. People tend to have short memories anyway, so remembering something that happened before you were born is a bit of a stretch.

On March 16, 1995, Mississippi made a blundering attempt to ratify the 13th amendment. Whether the the blunder was intentional or a buffoonery is anyone's guess. Either way, it doesn't speak well for the politics of the state. Officially the state did not abolish slavery until February 7, 2013. Yes, folks, that's correct. Twelve days ago somebody finally dealt with the pesky little slavery issue in Mississippi. Don't believe me? Look it up on Wikipedia. It's all over the internet as well. This is not an urban legend, people.

It took 147 years and 63 days after the official ratification date of December 6, 1865, for Mississippi to fall in line with the rest of the country. Kentucky was the only other serious holdout, having waited until March 18, 1976. Everyone else had pushed it through by February 12, 1901. Even if Mississippi had ratified it when they supposedly had originally intended to do so, in 1995, they were still nearly twenty years behind everyone else. Old habits don't only die hard, I guess; they're entrenched in stone and take a sledgehammer to break them.

What confuses me is that there have to be people in the state who are actually opposed to slavery. Why didn't anyone notice this before now? Equal rights advocates and activists didn't see such a glaring error? How is it that a society could be so uncaring as to allow such horrific laws to stay on the books? It isn't easy to change laws, however, when they are so firmly stuck in a society's way of life. To the best of my knowledge there haven't been any slaves in Mississippi in recent years, but I can't say there was no harm done. Attitudes must be changed with regard to how we view our fellow humans.

I happen to be a big fan of Morgan Freeman, and something he said about racism sticks with me, as it falls in line with my own thinking. When asked how you stop racism, he said, "Stop talking about it. I'm going to stop calling you a white man. And I'm going to ask you to stop calling me a black man." The point is, we need to call each other men and women, not black men or white men, black women or white women, or anything that has anything to do with skin colour.

Personally, I'm at the point where most of the time I have no idea what race someone is. Half the people who think they're a certain race are often something they didn't know they were. There really is no race other than the human race. My ex is one of them. He thinks he's white. He's not. He's a 'pure-blooded' Hungarian. this means his skeletal structure is largely Mongoloid, rather than Caucasoid or Negroid (those are scientific terms, not racist remarks, I'll have you know). He seems to have this odd belief that Hungary was never invaded or something. Multiple invasions are the reason the language is so difficult to learn, actually. Magyar is very blended, from many different languages, cultures and dialects. There is no root language, per se.

What's crazy to me with respect to racial identity is, if the people who read and believe in the bible were right in assuming we all came from Adam and Eve, it would mean there really is only one race. If no other humans were around, how is it that a person could possibly be superior to another person based on skin colour? Of course, logic doesn't dictate when it comes to creationism in general, so trying to argue with a creationist is more painful than sticking your head into a blender. We will one day evolve beyond the creationists, no matter how resistant they are to the idea of evolution. Either that or the weakest of the species will die off out of sheer stupidity.

The reason I bring up the bible-thumpers, is because a great deal of racism comes out of that baffling group of people. Particularly when it comes to people of differing faiths, such as Muslims and Hindus. They tend to equate that with 'black' or 'brown' people. The bible was used as justification for slavery in the first place, so it doesn't speak well for those who continue thumping it, when we're talking about the very issue of slavery.

Too bad the whole, "Prick us, do we not bleed?" thing has been used so much that it has lost its impact, because it really does sum things up nicely. All living creatures that can feel physical and emotional pain are worthy of fair treatment and respect. If you've still got your head in the sand about that, you can be sure someone is going to kick you in the ass for it.